Somewhere, in the distant reaches of space...
October 25, 2019 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Homestuck 2 began today.

Following the April 13th release of the Homestuck Epilogues, today, October 25th, sees the beginning of a new adventure. Is it canon? The situation's a lot more nuanced than that.

In case you didn't bother with the epilogues, here's a recap. In case you didn't bother with Homestuck, um.
posted by rorgy (18 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Hopefully he's not bringing in any of the, let's say, questionable fan material published in the interregnum.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:09 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

A buddy of mine attempted to reread Homestuck and live-tweet it a while back. He quickly gave up because it's not really something you can go back and reexperience. You can go only forward, ever forward.

I suppose if you really wanted to you could try to reread Homestuck as a real life book with pages and shit which is somehow both the best way to reread Homestuck in 2019 and absolutely the worst possible way to read Homestuck period.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:31 PM on October 25, 2019

Hopefully he's not bringing in any of the, let's say, questionable fan material published in the interregnum.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "questionable," but from the FAQ:
Hussie wrote the full outline for the story. But it's not meant to be a very strict outline. He specified that the outline should be fluid, subject to ongoing influence by fans, both those working on the story directly, and desires of fandom as a whole as it develops.
Homestuck in general is not a property where "questionable fan material" is easily distinguishable from the source. Homestuck^2 further blurs the distinction.
posted by Sokka shot first at 1:50 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Long story short: extremely ill-conceived Holocaust jokes.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:54 PM on October 25, 2019

I was thinking I could use this as a place to jump in, the concept and artstyle has always been something I could get behind but it was simply too much to get into. Maybe this wouldn't require past knowledge.

That was a foolish train of thought, I made it through a few pages thinking that would be it for now and I'd get to wait for more piece by piece. 30 pages, mostly big blocks of text punctuated by art. It's already too much and it's only been out for 0 days. It seems Homestuck will remain a mystery to me, though from the reactions, this may not be a bad thing.

Ooh, just spotting the links to mefites rundown of the last one, that's something I can get into.
I did recently stumble upon an old CYOA adventure I started drawing about 10 years ago for a somethingawful subforum" BYOB." It ended very prematurely because the adventure choosers basically shut it down and I complied. Been thinking of trying to pick up where I left off, not that it was great or much to go on.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:07 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I followed Homestuck in its first year or two, I forget at what point specifically I gave up on it. What soured me is Hussie's insistence that if you didn't like his incredibly long-winded chat logs, you weren't a real fan, but I think Homestuck's appeal, by the end, was feeling like it was something you were creating together as part of the fandom, and I find fandoms creepy and uncomfortable.
posted by Merus at 2:14 PM on October 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh, wow, Homestuck really never dies.

I'm actually pretty curious about how they found the fans Hussie decided to involve on the project, especially with how a couple former Homestuck fic writers have now gone Officially Pro, with novels from Tor and everything.
posted by storytam at 2:25 PM on October 25, 2019

I actually don't know how I feel about this. A couple of years ago I read Homestuck in its entirety in one marathon week or so and was fascinated by the sheer breadth of it. But I don't think I can quite face diving back in for more. It feels... Overwhelming.

I do still listen to Midnight Crew every time I have to work late.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:31 PM on October 25, 2019

For what it's worth, I completely reread Homestuck this year, before diving into the epilogues, and I think it holds up as a narrative extremely well. It's absolutely a Project to read, more like Moby-Dick or 2666 than like a webcomic binge, but I think that as a work of serious, epic literature it more than holds its own.

I'll have to reread the epilogues (which are novel-length) before I know if they work similarly, but on first read they left me feeling delighted and queasy at turns. Bare minimum, they are not a bone tossed to the fandom—on the contrary, they're confrontational and force Homestuck into uncomfortable situations that expose a lot of the original work's limitations. And thinking back on it as I write this, I find that a number of moments have lingered with me, all in ways I like. So that's a good-ish sign.

Homestuck^2 (sorry, I forgot the carat) opens with the most unpleasant character monologuing at length, so I'm going to have to find a state of mind to read this, but that's okay—again, I think you have to approach Homestuck as a serious literary work with ambitions and a sincere grasp towards meaning, which means it has to be taken on its own terms rather than as a sheer work of entertainment. Which is not to say it's unentertaining: the original is wildly funny and captivating, and I fully intend to reread it many times over for the sheer enjoyment of its language, its gags, and its plot.
posted by rorgy at 2:56 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm calling it now. I know not what year it'll be released, but Homestuck^3 is going to start on the Eleventh of November.
posted by radwolf76 at 3:22 PM on October 25, 2019

I never did finish Homestuck. I think the furthest I ever got was when they turned into clowns? Maybe further? I dunno. There’s just so goddamn much of it.
posted by egypturnash at 3:49 PM on October 25, 2019

oh yay. came to homestruck late, having heard of it here. read almost all of it. then tried to pick up where i had left off (bet i still have the scraps of notepaper with my bookmarking pagenumbers), but nothing seemed familiar. read from there to the end (?) i guess, more or less recalling the characters and narrative landscape. don't know what happened, but found it titillating & cathartic amid the intoxicating tedium, stupid and baffling and erudite and sublime. maybe. tried to revisit probably the last time it was mentioned on the blue, and couldn't. appreciate the art; love the abuse of and abusive language (hate, tho appreciate, the text colors; a student of dada, punk and the absurd, really admired how hostile the whole oeuvre was to the reader *[kissing sound]-"ooah magnifique"-gesture*). have tried, and failed, to entice others to appreciate it -- barriers to entry too high. have tried, and failed, to consume some of the interregnum developments, learned of here, and understand (here, again and ever) that some thing(s) about homestruck are understood by some to be problematic, but don't know what they are (not seeking explanation; would probably read some or click on a link), and suspect there are some communities of fans who exhibit internet group behaviors. learning of problems probably won't change my engagement with ^2, which at present is somewhat nostalgically interested but not committed (though, of course, it would necessarily inform, or influence, my understanding of the project as a whole, which, as shown above, can hardly be called an understanding at all): i'm writing here instead of continuing to read it, right now. 'k, bye.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:40 PM on October 25, 2019

Oh wow. I have read the first 4? 5? acts of Homestuck four or five times, but I always lose steam and then by the time I go back it's too fuzzy to start from my furthest point. Maybe this will prompt me to try again? I don't know if that's an exciting or wearying prospect.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:45 PM on October 25, 2019

So, if it's not clear, Hussie's provided the broad strokes of a story outline but the actual writing itself is falling to other contributors, some of whom have worked with Hussie in the past on Homestuck projects such as flash animations during the original run, passages in the epilogues, or development of the games, while others are simply big names in the fandom.

In particular, I'm excited to see optimisticDuelist in the credits. I've been a longtime fan of his Homestuck analysis and theorycrafting, both in his essays on Medium, and on his youtube channel.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:09 PM on October 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed Homestuck enough that I made a front-page post about it on the same day that Hussie introduced us to the quadrants, just a bit more than nine years ago. I loved the mixed media: this felt like the first webcomic that really couldn't function on a printed page. I appreciated how transgressive it felt, how it was at once ugly and slapdash and nonsensical and archetypal and impossibly ambitious to the point of absurdity. It felt like some self-sustaining dynamo, growing and accelerating and ascending in perpetuity. The lengthening periods of hiatus and unfathomable productivity felt like they would bounce back and forth forever.

I should have known that when it stopped, that this would merely be the longest hiatus yet.

I haven't been able to keep up with the various game-things birthed from the comic's conclusion. I helped fund the first one, but like an astronaut traveling to a newly-discovered planet only to find his grandchildren have colonized it while he was in transit, I grew into the kind of person who didn't really have the time or inclination to play it or its siblings by the time I finally realized it had released. Instead, I found myself experiencing the comic again vicariously: I found a liveblogger I enjoyed, and unlike most of the Let's Play/Let's Watch/Let's Read-style bloggers I follow, this one actually finished the comic.

...but the comic keeps growing. Tonight, that blogger posted a summary of why the prospect of this particular sequel/continuation inspires a bit of dread, and I find this assessment resonates with me. Maybe watching four and a half hours of analysis on Twin Peaks is priming me to see parallels even where none exist, but this continuation of Homestuck already feels like the protagonists are going to be fighting for the opportunity for their own story to be over. I'm not sure how much I want to read that.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 9:22 PM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I have the same relationship to Homestuck as I do EVE Online or Dwarf Fortress: never really could get into it, but I’m endlessly fascinated by the culture around it.
posted by joedan at 10:36 PM on October 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

It starts out with a ship with the name Theseus scrawled on its side, if you're wondering how this story is going to go.

My prediction is that we're really going to dig deep into the nature of antagonism. That's Dirk's whole schtick anyway. That's Homestuck's relationship to the reader.

I'm just excited because I am caught up. finally.
posted by jonnay at 7:51 AM on October 26, 2019

I was just coincidentally thinking about Homestuck today because my 12-year-old son & I were passing out literature for a local candidate door-to-door in a hilly neighborhood of our town. When I saw where we had been assigned, I told him that there would be a lot of stairs. After the first block or so, I turned to him and said, "I warned you about the stairs, bro. I told you!"

That was the first time I thought about Homestuck in years.
posted by Jugwine at 5:31 PM on October 26, 2019

« Older "Make It in Rockford"   |   Who's hurt the most when the lights go off? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments